Area Briefs

December 9, 2008 Council has light agenda The Batesville City Council has changed its December meeting from the second Tuesday to Thursday because of a bid opening Thursday for the new Westside fire station. The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. at city hall. The agenda includes appointments to the historic district and parks commissions, a report from Public Works Engineer Damon Johnson and comments from Mayor Rick Elumbaugh. The council will also recognize outgoing members.

Gainesboro Grocery re-opens

December 9, 2008 By Andrea Bruner Assistant Managing Editor It's been about four years since the Gainesboro Grocery closed its doors, leaving this small community without a nearby store, but now this local landmark has re-opened.

Council promotes gathering

December 9, 2008 The 2nd Friday Downtown Wander and Wonder Walk continues in December with a special holiday line-up of events, activities, food, and shopping, according to Paula Grimes, executive director of Main Street Bateville.

Vigil slated

December 9, 2008 The Compassionate Friends will hold its 12th annual Worldwide Candlelighting and Memorial Tree Decorating Service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Children's Memorial Park in Riverside Park in Batesville. The event is held on the second Sunday in December, although the North Central Arkansas TCF chapter usually meets on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Citizens Bank Annex.

JPs set $60 fee

December 9, 2008 After seven months of debate on how to pay for trash services the decision was made Monday night. The Independence County Quorum Court passed an ordinance that would charge $60 per year for trash collection in the unincorporated areas of the county. County Judge Bill Hicks' office will send out quarterly statements to the residents. The ordinance passed unanimously, with justices of the peace James McLean and James Darmstaedter absent.

Sports Briefs

December 8, 2008 Simpson trial LAS VEGAS (AP) - In the harsh light of the morning after his sentencing, O.J. Simpson's future was clear Saturday. His new home will be a prison cell in the Nevada desert with his door to freedom hinging on an appeal of a trial that his lawyers say was filled with errors.

News of other days

December 8, 2008 Editor's note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Dec. 19, 1995. 73 YEARS AGO Cash prizes will be awarded to Batesville homeowners participating in the annual holiday home decoration contest conducted here during the holidays by the Batesville Garden Club, Mrs. G.A. Babcock, president, has announced.

Aunt to slain teen goes missing

December 8, 2008 De QUEEN (AP) - The aunt of a teenage girl found slain in September is missing, raising concerns among detectives that she too might be dead. Sandra Lerma, 39, of De Queen, has been missing since Friday afternoon. Lerma's family found her purse and her car parked outside a building she planned to remodel into a beauty salon, said Police Chief Richard McKinley.

Police: Gentry teacher faces sex assault charge

December 8, 2008 GENTRY (AP) - A private school teacher in Gentry faces a felony sexual assault charge after police say he had sexual contact with a student in his office. Thomas Hayden McDonald, 24, teaches and coaches a sports team at the Seventh Day Adventist Academy in Gentry. Police said they began their investigation last week after the school's vice principal called detectives over another student saying McDonald had become "sexually involved" with one of his pupils.

Man forces way into house, shot

December 8, 2008 TRUMANN (AP) - Police in northeast Arkansas say a Trumann man looking for his wife after an argument went to the wrong home and was shot to death by the homeowner when he tried to force his way inside.